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Wellens voted Man of Steel
Great Britain full-back Paul Wellens was crowned engage Super League Man of Steel on Monday night as treble-chasing St Helens completed a clean sweep of major awards at a gala end-of-season dinner in Manchester.
The 26-year-old Wellens was rewarded for a series of consistently impressive performances for his club this year and becomes the fifth St Helens winner of the prestigious Man of Steel award in seven years.
Scrum-half Sean Long won it in 2000, loose forward Paul Sculthorpe held it in 2001 and 2002 and centre Jamie Lyon was last year?s winner.
The award, decided by an panel of journalists and coaches, goes to the player adjudged to have made the greatest impact on the domestic season.
Wellens, who scored his 100th try for St Helens in this year?s Powergen Challenge Cup semi-final, has been in magnificent form for his club and was named as full-back in the Super League Dream Team for the second successive season.
He admits he has produced the best form of his career this year and puts the improvement down to new coach Daniel Anderson.
"I?ve been pretty happy with my form over the last couple of years but I think I?ve added a bit more to my game this year," he said.
"Working with Daniel day in, day out on certain little aspects has really improved me and I?m really enjoying my rugby at the moment."
Wellens received the unique trophy and a cheque for ?5,000 at a ceremony at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
The Great Britain international, who is expected to add to his 12 caps in the Tri-Nations Series later this month, also won the GMB Union players? player of the year award, decided by a poll of all first team squads.
Wellens? nearest rivals were Leeds Rhinos back row forward Gareth Ellis and Castleford Tigers captain Danny Nutley, who became the first player to win both the "metre-maker" and "hit man" awards in the same season.
Nutley, who is returning to Australia to play for Sydney Roosters next season, made 3,372 metres this year and pulled off 1,001 tackles, which were still not enough to keep Castleford in engage Super League.
Saints boss Anderson, who on Saturday hopes to add the engage Super League title to the Challenge Cup and League Leaders? Shield already in the Knowsley Road trophy cabinet, was named engage Super League coach of the year in his first full season in England.
Anderson won the vote ahead of fellow nominees Brian Noble (Wigan Warriors) and Karl Harrison (Salford City Reds) while 21-year-old prop James Graham completed a Saints hat-trick of major awards when he beat team-mate James Roby and Wigan full-back Chris Ashton for the young player title.
They each received a trophy and ?1,000 cheque, along with Powergen referee of the year Richard Silverwood, of Mirfield.